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Tokyo: Stocks close up 0.8%

Monday, May 18, 2015 - 15:44
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[TOKYO]Tokyo stocks gained 0.80 per cent on Monday, with investor sentiment buoyed by upbeat Japanese corporate earnings and expectations for a continuing easy monetary policy in the United States.

The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange rose 157.35 points to end at 19,890.27, while the Topix index of all first-section shares added 1.22 percent, or 19.55 points, to 1,626.66.

With Japan's earnings season almost over, investors appeared in confident mood.

"Usually companies are quite conservative with their earnings forecasts, but this time the guidance seems to be considerably more positive than usual," said Kuninobu Takeuchi, Tokyo-based executive portfolio manager at DIAM.

"With some 230 trillion yen slushing around on company balance sheets, giving some of that back to shareholders is being seen as favourable," he said.

Japanese corporates were sitting on 231 trillion yen (US$1.9 trillion) at the end of December, according to Bank of Japan data.

A series of companies, including Mitsubishi UFJ, Toyota and Fanuc, have recently announced they will take measures to return cash to shareholders.

AFP